Weaver, Capps throw first live BPs of spring

Erlin targets midseason return from Tommy John surgery

Weaver, Capps throw first live BPs of spring

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Typically a tranquil diamond at the back end of the Peoria Sports Complex, Field 6 was buzzing Monday morning.

It's where right-handers Jered Weaver and Carter Capps took the mound, facing live hitters for the first time since joining the Padres. Weaver, who signed with San Diego on Feb. 18, got off to a bit of a late start this spring, while Capps is recovering from Tommy John surgery last March.

"It was probably actually the best I've felt in spring," said Capps, who came to the Padres last July in the Andrew Cashner trade. "I'm still getting my timing and everything, but my arm felt great."

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Indeed, Capps looked sharp in his return to the mound, facing an assortment of hitters that included Manuel Margot, Travis Jankowski and Luis Sardinas. None were able to muster solid contact against the hard-throwing right-hander.

Earlier this spring, Capps' quirky delivery sparked a bit of controversy. When he pushed off the rubber, he appeared to have added a hop in which he disengaged from the mound entirely. The Padres received some clarity from MLB as to the legality of Capps' motion. Essentially, the league reiterated what it said back in 2015: So long as Capps drags his back foot, it's a legal pitching motion.

During Monday's session, Capps' delivery almost identically resembled that of 2015.

"It didn't take much to get back to that," Capps said. "It's where I'm comfortable at and where I wanted to be all along."

Capps may turn heads in 2017

As for Weaver, he faced many of the same hitters as Capps and was similarly averse to hard contact. The Padres are mulling whether to give him one more live session before he takes the mound in the Cactus League.

"He was really good," Padres manager Andy Green said. "I thought he looked free. He felt good. I thought the ball was coming out of his hand well."

Erlin anticipates midseason return

Barring any setbacks, Robbie Erlin is eyeing a midseason return from Tommy John surgery. The 26-year-old southpaw underwent the procedure last May.

"I don't think there's really like a set date," Erlin said. "We kind of stay away from that so you don't get too jumpy. We just go based on feel. Right now, late June, early July is kind of what we're eyeballing, if everything goes well."

Erlin posted a 4.02 ERA in three appearances before his injury last season. He has been taking part in fielding and bunting practice and is hopeful to get back on a mound at some point during camp.

"It's nice to go out there, run around, be around the guys," Erlin said. "You get to really feel like you're part of the team again."

News and notes

Miguel Diaz, the top overall pick in December's Rule 5 Draft, made his Padres debut during Monday's 5-3 loss to the Angels. He allowed two runs in one inning, but his line was a bit deceiving, as one run scored on a seeing-eye single and the other on a steal of home during a rundown. The 22-year-old right-hander never pitched above Class A in the Brewers' system.

"He was solid," Green said. "It was a good start for him, as far as I'm concerned. He showed good composure, threw the ball well. He's got a live arm."

Alex Dickerson has almost fully recovered from the stiff lower back that has kept him out of workouts for the past week. But the Padres are taking it slow, given the timing of the injury. They gave Dickerson Monday off after he spent time in the gym over the weekend. The second-year left fielder could return later this week.

Jhoulys Chacin has been tabbed to start Tuesday's matinee against the Giants in Peoria, Ariz. The Venezuelan right-hander will make two starts before he leaves for the World Baseball Classic next week.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.